Thermo Fisher will build lab supply plant in North Carolina as part of $193M federal contract

Thermo Fisher Scientific will build a manufacturing facility in North Carolina focused on making vital laboratory products as part of its $192.5 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The co-investment with the federal agency is part of an effort to strengthen the domestic supply of lab pipette tips, the company said.

The new facility will be located in Mebane, North Carolina, and is expected to create 150 to 200 new jobs. Construction is forecast to be completed by the third quarter of 2024. The company didn't disclose the complete cost of the new plant.

The site is part of Thermo Fisher’s plan, announced in March, to spend more than $600 million to upgrade its bioprocessing operations around the globe and bring on at least 1,500 new hires. The company is looking to more than double its production capacity to meet short-term COVID-19 demand as well as expand its long-term capabilities to develop biologics and vaccines for other diseases.

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The overarching plan includes increasing staff at 11 of the company’s manufacturing facilities across the Americas, Asia and Europe as well as specific investments aimed at bolstering supplies of single-use technologies, purification resins and cell culture media.

“The new manufacturing facility will help the U.S. meet future demand surges for vital laboratory products while bringing more high-quality jobs to North Carolina,” Mark Stevenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher, said in a statement. “With its strategic geographic location and proximity to a diverse talent base, Mebane is an ideal location for this new facility.”

In late September, Thermo Fisher said it would spend $82.5 million to expand production capacity at its St. Louis biologic drug substance plant in a move that will double the facility’s overall production capacity.